Interview with Andrei Claude: Mr. Romance 2005

By Janice Lynn

Copyright © 2004 by Janice Lynn. All rights reserved.

Andrei Claude, Mr. Romance 2005

For those of you who don’t know Andrei Claude — you should. This young man is worth keeping an eye on. Literally.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting Andrei at the Romantic Times convention in St. Louis, Missouri and teased him that he HAD to win the Mr. Romance competition so I could say I had lunch with Mr. Romance 2004 (whom I sat with during the Awards Luncheon on Thursday) and Mr. Romance 2005 (Andrei sat with friends and myself during a luncheon on Friday).

I’m pretty sure that wasn’t his reasons for winning, but Andrei did, indeed, win the Mr. Romance 2005 competition sponsored by Romantic Times Magazine.

Although, no doubt, Andrei’s fabulous Italian looks played into his win, I was most impressed by his intelligence. Okay, I heard all those “Yeah, rights!”. Seriously, that’s what struck me most during the time I talked with him. His intelligence, his articulation, and his determination. Yes, he was gorgeous, too, but you have to remember there were lots of gorgeous men running around during the Mr. Romance Competition. (Let’s hear it for RT & having all those guys wanting our votes.)

So, get ready to meet the man behind the bedroom eyes, muscles galore, and great smile. Oops, that was supposed to read “intelligence, articulation, and determination.” Yeah right.

Janice: Tell me about your experience/impression of the Romantic Times convention.

Andrei: I had actually never been to a convention before, so this was a totally new experience for me. It turned out to be a really great experience which I would recommend to anyone who is either somehow involved in the romance novel industry, such as authors, publishers and readers of romance novels, as well as aspiring cover models like myself. I wasn’t very well-informed about this industry, and I was amazed to discover how big it really is.

Janice: As part of your Mr. Romance 2005 win, you will be doing a romance book cover for Harlequin, right? Did you ever imagine yourself as a romance cover model? And how does romance cover modeling differ from other modeling jobs?

Andrei: That’s correct. The major prize for winning the RT Mr. Romance is in fact a contract with Harlequin to have at least one romance book cover. I never really thought about it to be honest, and I guess the only reason was that I didn’t really know how to get myself into it. I consider romance cover modeling something very prestigious. Unlike a magazine or a newspaper, a book is around for a long time, and is usually handled with a lot more care ! The actual modeling is obviously more sensual and passionate then say a workout routine for a fitness magazine.

Janice: After the Romantic Times convention, you stayed in the states for several weeks. Can you tell us about some of the things you did? What did you think about the US? Any major differences from Malta (I think this is where you said you were from, but correct me if I’m wrong)? What was your best experience? Your worst?

Andrei: Yes, after the Romantic Times convention I spent another four weeks touring the States. The main reason for that was to meet up with different agencies around the country and see what kind of response I get. I also had a few test shoots scheduled with some local photographers in New York, New Jersey, Las Vegas and Kansas City.

Oh . . . I absolutely love the US ! The people are great and the country is beautiful. Malta is nothing like the US. The size of the entire island is 122 square miles, and there’s almost 380,000 people living there, so as you can imagine it’s densely populated. The people there are somewhat conservative and not very open to new ideas, unlike American folks who always crave for something new. I would have to say the RT convention was the best experience, and it’s not merely because I won the Mr. Romance pageant, but I also made a lot of friends, and I really enjoyed myself at the evening parties and meeting so many interesting people. One time I didn’t make it in time for a connecting flight due to a delay out of Las Vegas, and I ended up spending a night in Houston TX airport.

Andrei Claude, Mr. Romance 2005Janice: Your website,, states you have been modeling professionally for four years. How did you get started modeling?

Janice: What are the pros and cons of the industry? Any advice to someone considering modeling as a profession?

Andrei: Well it’s certainly not as easy as most people might think. There’s a lot more to it than just posing in front of a camera. Models need to stay in peak shape and look their best at all times, and that requires sticking to a healthy diet and a regular exercise regimen. Personally I do not mind that at all, even if I didn’t model I would still try and keep myself in shape and eat healthy food most of the time anyway, but I guess for a lot of people that wouldn’t be something they would really enjoy. Modeling can get tough at times but it is fun and very satisfying. I would advice anyone who is considering modeling as a profession to keep an open mind, and not just look at the glamour. There’s also a lot of hard work which takes place “behind the scenes.”

Janice: What types of modeling have you done? Where can fans find your work? Do you have anything planned for the future you can tell us about?

Andrei: Until now it’s been mostly fitness. I have also worked with quite a few photographers who are starting out in this line of work, and just want to begin building themselves a decent portfolio. I’m planning to start getting into more commercial work, both print and TV if possible. Right now, for the most part my portfolio consists of photographs which relate more to fitness than anything else, but I’m really hoping to change that in the future and eventually come up with more diversity.

Janice: What type of workout regimen are you on? Any special diet? How often do you have to work out to keep in cover model shape?

Andrei: I workout five times a week with weights, and usually do some cardiovascular exercise prior to each workout. I would generally use that as a warming up session. Since I started out as a fitness model my workouts were always pretty intense and I still keep it that way. I stick to a diet which is low in carbohydrates and fat. I ultimately focus on maintaining an adequate protein intake, which will allow me to recover from each workout and supply my body with all the essential amino acids required to sustain a healthy immune system and muscle mass.

Janice: What do you see yourself doing, or want to see yourself doing, five years from now?

Andrei: In five years from now I would really like to see myself a well established model and possibly starting out in some acting too.

Janice: What do your friends and family have to say about you being Mr. Romance 2005?

Andrei: A lot of my friends and family had no clue I even took part in a pageant while I was in the States. I hadn’t really told anyone about it. Now some people are starting to find out, and I guess the word will eventually spread . . . but I haven’t really heard a great deal of comments.

Janice: What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies? Special interests?

Andrei: Right now I don’t really get a great deal of spare time, each minute of the day is pretty much part of a fairly tight schedule. I do kick boxing as part of my exercise regimen though, and I really benefit from that. I always enjoy watching a good movie or TV program on the weekends when I get some time, I feel it really helps me relax and get ready for another week.

Janice: Can fans expect to see you at the 2006 Romantic Times convention in Daytona, Florida?

Andrei: Absolutely . . . I’ll be there !

Janice: Any other comments you’d like to make?

Andrei Claude, Mr. Romance 2005Andrei: I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who was in some way helping out with this year’s RT convention. I would also like to thank all the readers, authors, publishers and everyone else who attended the Mr. Romance pageant for being so supportive with all the cover models. Special credit goes to Kathryn Falk for organizing this event and allowing me to be a part of it.

Now, you can see why I was so impressed with this young man. Not only is he gorgeous, but he’s for real. I agree with Andrei on his thanks to Kathryn and the RT staff. The convention was an amazing experience and one I, personally, look forward to repeating many times over the years. So, if you haven’t made plans to attend the 2006 RT convention in Daytona, hop to it for a chance to meet Andrei Claude, Mr. Romance 2005…and oh yeah, a chance to meet all the hopeful 2006 Mr. Romance contestants.

Janice Lynn won the first ever American Title contest with her novel JANE MILLIONAIRE which will be released in November 2005 by Dorchester Publishing. To find out more about Janice, to read excerpts, or to enter her contest, visit